These Teams Expanded Lightning Fast. Here’s How.

Leaders at Uplight and Thrasio describe how their teams have grown and outline their plans for the future.
Written by Olivia McClure
September 20, 2021Updated: September 20, 2021

Growing a team of 350 to more than 600 people over the course of 12 months may sound overly ambitious or even impossible. Yet that’s exactly what happened over the past year at Uplight

According to CEO Adrian Tuck, the company’s rapid scaling is intended to support the growth that the organization has seen in the energy market, giving them enough manpower to build new products and better systems. 

In his mind, this expansion reflects the opportunities employees have to leave their own mark on the organization. “Everyone has an opportunity to contribute directly to the most exciting parts of our future,” Tuck said. 

Uplight isn’t the only local company in the midst of tremendous growth. According to Thrasio SVP of Technology Jeremy Freeman, current scaling efforts coincide with the company’s aim to refine its technological capabilities and maximize its impact. 

Freeman acknowledged that growing a team is never simple, especially during a pandemic. That’s why he said the organization is committed to evolving every aspect of the business in order to keep up with this rapid transformation. 

“Our challenge now is to leverage, scale and improve those processes and insights while creating new ones to continue building the backbone of Thrasio’s continual growth,” Freeman said. 

Built In Boston checked in with Tuck and Freeman to get an inside look at how their teams have scaled and what plans they have for the future. 

 

Uplight helps utilities providers supply communities with affordable, sustainable energy.

 

Tell us more about the type of scaling occurring at your company. Which team in particular is growing quickly, and what’s the purpose and urgency of this expansion?

The engineering org in particular has scaled significantly as we work on the next generation of our platform. My role was primarily to ensure that we had clarity on the goals these new team additions needed to achieve and that we were properly funding this investment in our financial planning. It was also critically important that we had the right leaders in place to not only achieve our goals and hire new talent, but to also incorporate our new teammates properly so they could learn and help cultivate our culture. The people we continue to add on will become the base for our upcoming stage of growth.

 

What was the process of scaling like, and how long did it take? Did the team encounter any hiccups or aha moments along the way?

It’s been tough to grow quickly during the pandemic while simultaneously maintaining and growing our corporate culture. In order for this to work, the whole company needed to embrace recruiting and onboarding. We found new ways to onboard people remotely over Zoom, and we were intentional about making our new team members feel included. While the people team led our hiring, onboarding and inclusion efforts, only so much can happen centrally through that department. Our hiring managers and senior leadership proactively reached out to their networks and found ways to connect with their teams virtually. We’ve used things like executive meet-ups, virtual coffee chats and more cross-departmental meetings to add to typical onboarding training and team one-on-one tours. One program that’s been really successful is our peer-to-peer recognition program, through which employees receive cash funds via a Bonusly account. That’s allowed us to see teams working cross-functionally while celebrating with one another. 

Our vision is for our platform to connect the dots between utilities providers, their customers and new low-carbon products and services heading to the market.”

 

What’s the most exciting project the team will be taking on in the next few months?

We are launching a number of new projects on a 2.0 version of our underlying platform. These products are designed to help decarbonize energy for home and building owners in an effort to confront one of the world’s greatest threats: climate change. Our vision is for our platform to connect the dots between utilities providers, their customers and new low-carbon products and services heading to the market. Working together in an orchestrated way, these three groups can rapidly accelerate the decarbonization of the grid that is already underway.

Not only is the goal motivating for us all, but it also requires a companywide effort. Unlike some efforts that can be boiled down to a single new product launch, our current investments in this strategy include continued scaling and expansion of our underlying technology and processes, the creation of several new products, and outstanding execution with our existing clients. 

 

Jeremy Freeman
SVP of Technology

Thrasio operates a platform that brings products to market across digital marketplaces and retailers. 

 

Tell us more about the type of scaling occurring at your company. Which team in particular is growing quickly, and what’s the purpose and urgency of this expansion?

Our charter is not only to scale the systems and processes that have made us so successful, but to also further that experimental, data-driven pioneer spirit that made us a leader in our industry. Thrasio has always been a fierce business operations engine, absorbing Fulfillment By Amazon businesses and optimizing them by scrubbing them through our “conveyor belt” process. 

Our business team has been the foundation of our success. My role is to set strategic direction, grow the best team of technical thought leaders and executors I can, and then get out of the way and provide whatever support they need to achieve our aggressive goals.

 

What was the process of scaling like, and how long did it take? Did the team encounter any hiccups or aha moments along the way?

Scaling a team quickly is never simple, especially during the remote-work era. As such, we lead by some guiding principles.

First, there are no unwritten rules. That’s why we created our Thrasio engineering handbook, our guiding document on all things from philosophy and architectural principles to the mechanics of getting promotions. Every employee should know exactly where to look to understand how things are done. We’ve made this document public to the world so that those considering joining the team can see what they’ll be getting into.

We also prioritize hiring the right people. Micromanagement doesn’t scale. Maintaining a rigorous hiring process is important to attract talent we can trust to make good decisions quickly at every level.

Lastly, we lead from the bottom up. We’ve tried our best to make the handbook effective, yet we know it’s impossible to get everything right. As the business grows and conditions change, so must our processes and philosophies. Our handbook is managed in Git, where anyone can propose changes by submitting a pull request. We’re striving to ensure psychological safety to share ideas and improvements.

 

Our charter is not only to scale the systems and processes that have made us so successful, but to also further that experimental, data-driven pioneer spirit that made us a leader in our industry.”

 

What’s the most exciting project the team will be taking on in the next few months?

We spent the first half of this year solidifying our technical foundation to allow us to focus more fully on business impact. Some highlights of our current focus include: the insights and knowledge our new pricing excellence team is uncovering, our expansion into selling directly to our consumers via branded websites, and the competitive tooling our data science team is building for our mergers and acquisitions group. 

 

 

Jobs from companies in this blog179 open jobs
All Jobs
Finance
Data + Analytics
Design + UX
Dev + Engineer
HR + Recruiting
Marketing
Operations
Product
Project Mgmt
Sales
Content
Marketing
new
Uplight
Boston
Marketing
new
Thrasio
Remote
Marketing
new
Thrasio
Remote
Marketing
new
Thrasio
Boston
Marketing
new
Thrasio
Boston
Developer
new
Thrasio
Boston
Operations
new
Uplight
Boston
Product
new
Uplight
Boston
Design + UX
new
Thrasio
Remote
Product
new
Uplight
Boston
Product
new
Uplight
Boston
Project Mgmt
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Project Mgmt
new
Thrasio
Remote
Product
new
Thrasio
Remote
Finance
new
Thrasio
Remote
Project Mgmt
new
Thrasio
Remote
Finance
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Finance
new
Thrasio
Remote
Sales
new
Thrasio
Boston
Product
new
Thrasio
Boston
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Boston
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Boston
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Boston
Design + UX
new
Thrasio
Boston
Project Mgmt
new
Thrasio
Boston
Operations
new
Thrasio
Boston
Content
new
Thrasio
Boston
HR + Recruiting
new
Thrasio
Remote
HR + Recruiting
new
Thrasio
Boston
Product
new
Uplight
Boston
Operations
new
Uplight
Boston
Finance
new
Thrasio
Boston
Project Mgmt
new
Thrasio
Remote
Operations
new
Thrasio
Boston
Product
new
Thrasio
Remote
Operations
new
Thrasio
Remote
Finance
new
Thrasio
Remote
Operations
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Boston
Developer
new
Thrasio
Boston
Product
new
Thrasio
Boston
Project Mgmt
new
Uplight
Boston
Developer
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Boston
HR + Recruiting
new
Uplight
Boston
Data + Analytics
new
Uplight
Boston
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Finance
new
Thrasio
Remote
Project Mgmt
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Marketing
new
Thrasio
Remote
Finance
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Boston
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Boston
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Boston
Operations
new
Thrasio
Boston
HR + Recruiting
new
Thrasio
Boston
HR + Recruiting
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Boston
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Boston
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Boston
Operations
new
Thrasio
Boston
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Boston
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Boston
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Boston
Operations
new
Thrasio
Remote
Project Mgmt
new
Thrasio
Boston
Project Mgmt
new
Thrasio
Remote
Operations
new
Uplight
Boston
Developer
new
Uplight
Boston
Developer
new
Uplight
Boston
Operations
new
Thrasio
Remote
Operations
new
Thrasio
Remote
Operations
new
Thrasio
Remote
Operations
new
Thrasio
Remote
HR + Recruiting
new
Uplight
Boston
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Remote
Marketing
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Boston
Developer
new
Thrasio
Boston
Developer
new
Thrasio
Boston
Marketing
new
Thrasio
Boston
Operations
new
Thrasio
Boston
Content
new
Thrasio
Boston
Project Mgmt
new
Uplight
Boston
Developer
new
Thrasio
Remote
Finance
new
Thrasio
Boston
Project Mgmt
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Product
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Boston
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Boston
Operations
new
Thrasio
Boston
Finance
new
Thrasio
Remote
Finance
new
Thrasio
Remote
Product
new
Thrasio
Remote
Operations
new
Thrasio
Boston
Operations
new
Thrasio
Remote
Operations
new
Thrasio
Boston
Sales
new
Uplight
Boston
Sales
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Boston
Developer
new
Thrasio
Boston
Developer
new
Thrasio
Boston
Marketing
new
Thrasio
Boston
Operations
new
Thrasio
Boston
Operations
new
Uplight
Boston
Finance
new
Thrasio
Remote
Finance
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Remote
Finance
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Remote
Operations
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Remote
Operations
new
Thrasio
Remote
Developer
new
Thrasio
Boston
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Boston
Data + Analytics
new
Thrasio
Boston
Operations
new
Thrasio
Boston
Operations
new
Thrasio
Boston
Developer
new
Thrasio
Boston
Marketing
new
Thrasio
Boston
Product
new
Thrasio
Boston

Boston startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in Boston
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Tech Offices in Boston
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Perks at Boston Tech Companies
LOCAL GUIDE
Women in Boston Tech